The Kiwanis Club of Montclair is continuing a drop-off drive for non-food items through April 4, to benefit local groups serving those in need.

Frustrated by its inability to get permission from any Montclair supermarket to allow a food drive on its premises, the Kiwanis Club of Montclair decided to become creative and chose another route to meet local needs, the group said in an announcement.

Club member Anuraj Bismal got in touch with Toni’s Kitchen and the Human Needs Food Pantry, and asked what non-food items were most requested by their clients. The answer: diapers, toiletries of all sorts, liquid dishwashing soap and liquid laundry detergent.

The club then got permission to set up collection bins at Paper Plane Coffee Co., Cyclebar, Stanton Realtors, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, TD Bank and the Montclair YMCA. It notified the Montclair Local, used member Facebook pages, contacted TV channel 34 and made personal calls to spread the word. Montclair High School senior Kaie Bismal created a flyer for the effort.

Within two weeks, residents of Montclair donated thousands of items worth hundreds of dollars. One donor wrote out a check for $300 on the spot, which club treasurer Susan Diaz-DeSantis used to buy $300 worth of the desired items.

Cyclebar instructors Sheri Newton, Nina Cappello and Jenn Lax are among those who have helped with the Kiwanis Club of Montclair's ongoing drive for non-food items (COURTESY KIWANIS CLUB OF MONTCLAIR)
Cyclebar instructors Sheri Newton, Nina Cappello and Jenn Lax are among those who have helped with the Kiwanis Club of Montclair's ongoing drive for non-food items (COURTESY KIWANIS CLUB OF MONTCLAIR)
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